A Sweet Escape

In the midst of what is – without a doubt – the craziest time of the year, it was nice to take a break and spend the weekend with my mom. She and one of her friends came to visit me, allowing me to be their personal Nashville tour guide for a few days. In return, they offered me much-needed emotional support and encouragement to finish the semester strong. (They also treated me to a few meals, which is always very much appreciated!) It was a perfect weekend.
When they arrived on Friday, I took them to Belmont for a quick tour of the campus. Next, we picked up my best friend, Kelly, and the four of us enjoyed a delicious lunch at one of my new favorite places: Star Bagel.starbagel.jpg
They have this incredible Peanut Butter, Honey, Granola, & Banana wrap…it is TO DIE FOR. It’s the stuff dreams are made of. Really. Anyway, after lunch, we drove around downtown Nashville before heading to Radnor Lake for an afternoon walk. I had never been to Radnor before, but now I’m not sure I will be able to keep myself from going daily! Everything is so peaceful and beautiful there; it’s the perfect escape.
Friday night we ate at J. Alexander’s, taking our time to enjoy great food and great company.Radnor-Lake.jpg
After that, we called it an early night so that we could get up and go to Pancake Pantry the next morning! The line was long, as per usual, but it was completely worth it (as per usual). From there, we went to downtown Franklin to shop and enjoy the spectacular weather. Since Saturday was Earth Day, there was a celebration in Centennial that included live music, so we went to check it out. We had a wonderful time! Later that night, we visited the Gaylord Opryland hotel and Opry Mills Mall.
On Sunday, we went to church, shopped for a few hours, and then my mom and her friend went to the Bluebird CafĂ©. I had been planning on joining them, but ended up feeling sick so I decided to take a nap. The girls left early yesterday morning and I miss them already! It’s nice knowing that I will be home in less than three weeks, but I still have so much do to before the end of the semester comes!

The Front Porch and Gallery F

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Last Friday my best friend and I were hanging out together and decided to walk over to the Front Porch at the Scarritt Bennett Center, which is a local Nashville retreat site/cultural, intellectual, and spiritual learning space. It’s really neat. Anyways, it wasn’t open when we got there, but they have these awesome brightly painted rocking chairs just chilling outside, so we hung out until it was open. Once it opened up we found out there was a really neat exhibit called “Native” going on that explored Native American history and culture in Tennessee. We walked around for a bit, and I really enjoyed it. We hung out a bit in the kitchen, too, and it was really neat. It’s really informal and everyone who works there is an artist and gets a studio to work in across the street from the gallery and cafe. I really enjoyed stumbling across such a progressive little space in the middle of Nashville.

Spring has Sprung!

These past few weeks have been crazy! Thankfully, however, Spring is finally here! That means just a few more weeks until graduation!
My boyfriend, J. L. has been recording a lot lately with our friend, Josh. They’re working on finishing up a record that will hopefully be finished later this month. We used to record with Josh at the Belmont Studios, but since Josh got an internship with a local producer, he is allowed to use his facilities for free! This studio is where Sixpence None the Richer recorded their debut album (ever hear the song “Kiss Me”? Yeah. It was recorded here!)
There have been a lot of late nights, but it’s been really fun and time flies when you’re with friends who love what they’re doing!
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Apart from that, I’ve just been busy searching for jobs and getting school wrapped up! Thankfully, I’ve been able to enjoy some of this wonderful sunshine! Here is a picture from Dragon Park (which is right near Belmont.)
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Happy Easter!

Memphis

Yesterday, my friend Ateia and I drove to Memphis for the day. Although I was born in Memphis, we moved when I was a month old and I hadn’t been back since.beale street.jpgThe combination of good music, beautiful weather, delicious food, and great conversations made for a perfect day! We started out by visiting Germantown (Ateia and I tend to be drawn to malls), then visited Baptist Memorial Hospital(where I was born!), then ate a yummy lunch at Neely’s BBQ, and headed downtown for the rest of the evening. Downtown Memphis reminded me of a cross between Nashville and Kansas City. So I felt right at home! :) Ateia and I estimated that we each spent about $40 on gas and food, which is very reasonable for a day-trip! Next semester we’re planning to go to Atlanta and Chattanooga.
Not having classes yesterday or today has been VERY nice. Not only has it given me the opportunity to catch up on homework (an opportunity that I have yet to take advantage of…), but it has also allowed me to reflect on the final days of Lent. I’m spending the rest of the weekend at a friend’s house, and celebrating Easter with them.alexandateia.jpg
The weather has been absolutely gorgeous, so I’m going to try to spend as much time outside as possible! I’m loving being able to roll the windows down in my car and let the warm wind comb my hair as I sing along to Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts. Allergies are a small price to pay for the splendid springtime beauty. :)

An Excellent Week

This past week has been amazing. Most likely the best week I have this semester. I was elected president of Belmont’s MENC which is the National Association for Music Educators. I really look forward to leading the music education program. One of the biggest difficulties we have had in the past is relating the instrumental and vocal sides of music education in our program because it is hard to do workshops and lectures that apply to both. Being a instrumental and vocal music ed. person, I really want to combine these two together and bring in speakers that all of the students at Belmont can relate to.
I had to teach a 6th grade general music class on tuesday morning. I had to do two 30 minute lessons in front of real 6th graders, which I was a bit nervous about. But I really enjoyed it and it proved that this is the right major for me. I ended up teaching the blues scale and had the students improvise over the blues scale on the Orff instruments. They really enjoyed this lesson, and I had a blast teaching it.
Then on Friday I had to give a speech in my Fundamentals of Communication class. My speech was on gang14111_1282522105579_1305870691_30989185_1214221_n.jpg
violence in Nashville. My speech went really well, I ended up getting a 100% on it. The only mistake I made on my speech the last phrase where I was trying to say “It is up to us to stop gang violence” but I actually said “It is us to up to stop gang violence”. I said this about four times until I gave up I completely changed my phrase.
To end the week, the weather was perfect. I went to the park on Saturday with a group of friends to hike and to fly a kite. This was just a great week. It amazes me to see how my life unfolds and the opportunities that arise throughout my time here at Belmont.

Georgia Bound!

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This weekend I travelled with my best friend, her parents, and her boyfriend down to good old Atlanta for the weekend and her first Marathon on March 21st. The ride was completely gorgeous on the way down and we stayed in the beautiful Omni hotel. For the most part, we hung out around the hotel, but while my friends were in the pool for a bit I hiked around downtown Atlanta and visited the Underground, which was neat, but small, and honestly, I’m just not a mall kind of girl.
Finally, Sunday arrived and my friend started out the ING Georgia 2010 Marathon right in front of our hotel to cheers from hundreds of people. It was my first time seeing a marathon and it was really awesome to experience. We drove around almost the whole time trying to meet up with my friend, but we were off on her pace and so we kept missing her. Thankfully, we missed her by being too far ahead of her, so we were able to see her run through the finish line. I was so proud, and her boyfriend found her at the 23 mile mark to help her run the last three miles. Overall it was a pretty fun weekend. I was a little disappointed we didn’t get to visit my future school, Candler School of Theology at Emory University, but I’m sure I’ll go visit again.

Staying Strong

Spring Break was absolutely wonderful. I spent the week at home with my family, celebrating my mom’s 50th birthday. For her birthday, I gave her a bracelet engraved with the words from one of our favorite books, Love You Forever.loveyouforeverbracelet.jpg Being home was such a nice break from the business of the semester. Now, I’m back and ready to finish strong! Between writing an industry analysis paper for Business Entrepreneurship, and staying on top of my Accounting homework…I had my hands full this week!
One of my friends, Kelly, went to Guatemala over Spring Break. After hearing her stores and seeing her pictures, it’s all I can do to keep from hopping on a plane and heading there! She actually went on a mission trip and spent several hours each day working on building a hospital for citizens in Santiago Atitlan. While they were in Guatemala, her mission team visited an Occupational Therapy/Phisical Therapy clinic. Since the Occupational Therapy Doctorate degree program requires students to complete a semester of fieldwork prior to graduation, I’m looking into spending some time working in that clinic! What a wonderful opportunity that would be.
As I plan my classes for my senior year, it’s hard to believe that I am SO close to graduation! Just 26 more hours, and I’ll be done with my undergraduate work. I’m definitely ready to graduate, but I’m not ready to leave Belmont! Hopefully I will be accepted into the OTD program here, and will get to stay for at least three more years. :)

Spring Break and the last 8 weeks

Wow! I can’t believe it! Eight more weeks left and I’m graduating! I can’t say that I’m not ready to go though! With the job market the way it is, it’s a little scary right now to be a senior, but I feel very confident that the right opportunity will open itself up. In the mean time, however, I’ve been sending out resumes and making as many contacts as I can to make that opportunity present itself!
Thankfully, however, last week was spring break and I was very grateful to have a break from my busy life lately! My roommate/sister, my boyfriend, and I went down to Florida to go to Disney World. We were only there for one day, though, because we did a “Give a day, Get a day” pass. If you’re not familiar with this program, Disney is providing anyone who volunteers for a day with a free pass to any park. We decided to work at the Second Harvest Food Bank here in town. We spent three hours sorting and packaging food–and I must say, we had a blast doing it!
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Here’s to the last eight weeks!

Chorale Trip

This past weekend was amazing because I got to go on the annual Chorale trip. This year we went to Atlanta, GA for our tour. This is an opportunity for one of Belmont’s premiere choirs to travel to churches, schools, and other venues to sing to others and to represent Belmont along with the great things that are happening here. This trip was a blast and will be truly unforgetable!
The trip started off on Saturday at 8 in the morning as we loaded the buses to depart for Atlanta. It was about aDSCF0080.JPG
four and a half hour drive, but it was a lot of fun watching movies on the bus and hanging out with people I don’t see very frequently outside of chorale. I strengthed many friendships on this trip and started new ones. For instance, I didn’t realize until the trip that one of the tenor’s lives right around the corner from me back in St. Louis. It is such a small world!
Anyway, we stopped at the mall in Atlanta. Many of the girls went shopping while the guys in the choir tended to tag along with them. Later Saturday night, we went to Medival Times, which is a dinner and show that takes place in a castle. Now I have been to Medival Times three times before with my high school band, but it is always fun getting to eat food with your hands and cheering on your knight as they try to win the competition.
Saturday was our free day because the rest of the trip was spent singing in various locations. We went to several churches where we would sing for the service and for their youth choirs. We also went to several high schools and sang for them. It was amazing seeing the reaction on their faces as when sang, they were truly inspired and it was a blessing to sing for them.
But the highlight of the trip was that we helped premiere a brand new hymnal. This event was amazing becauseDSCF0085.JPG
they had been working on this hymnal for more than twenty years, so the event had people from all across the country. Although we were only one of many choirs at the event, it was amazing being in the church, hearing the hundreds of people sing sing the selected hymns.
This trip was truly amazing! Next year, chorale gets to travel internationally. I am really excited about this.

To Make a Journal

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So, I am the Co-Fiction Editor this year for the 2009-10 Belmont Literary Journal and I’m so excited. Last year, I had the privilege of having 3 of my submissions in the journal (which you can view here), and this year I get to be on the other side and help decide what’s going inside the journal. It is really neat to see all that goes on with the organizational side of the journal. There’s paper and fonts to be chosen, and covers, and not to mention the poetry, prose, and artwork that will grace the inside of the journal. It’s all a pretty extensive process, and we’re about halfway done with everything. I’m really excited, there’s some great writing in this years collection. It’s just too bad that we can’t put everything awesome inside of it due to page limits.